YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 39%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%. Good job/bad job ratings for the leaders are minus 15 for Cameron, minus 35 for Miliband, minus 51 for Clegg.

On the economy there is a big contrast between people’s attitudes to the economy as a whole, and their own personal circumstances. On the wider economy there is optimism – 36% of people think things are better than a year ago, 24% worse. Ask about people’s own finances and only 14% think they are better off than a year ago, 39% think they are worse off. Asked about the year ahead, only 17% think their own household’s finances will get better, 37% think they’ll get worse. People are pessimistic, but it’s a measure of how bad things were (and how things are turning round) that this minus twenty net score is the best so far this Parliament.

Asked which party is closest to different groups, the Conservatives are overwhelmingly seen as the party that best represents and understands the rich (by 83%) of people. Labour are a mile ahead of the other two parties on representing and understanding the working class and people on benefits (though around a quarter of people think no party really understands or represents them). Despite Ed Miliband’s recent foray, the Conservatives are still seen as the party that best represents and understands the middle class. Even amongst Labour’s own voters 30% think the Conservatives better understand middle class people.

Asked to describe themselves, 46% of people say they are working class, 42% middle class. It’s interesting to compare the ABC1C2DE social categorisations of people (which is based on their occupation) with their self-perceptions: 35% of people in “middle class occupations” consider themselves working class, and 28% of people in “working class occupations” consider themselves middle class. Obviously the ABC classification is pretty crude in its own way, but it’s also a sign of perceptions of social class are an awful lot more complicated than people’s own current occupation.

504 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 39, LD 8, UKIP 13”

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  1. Watched part of the first BBC Scotland referendum debates.

    It consisted of a pro union right-wing blogger…a pro union MP and a comedian who has yet to make up his mind and admitted he doesn’t know much about the facts on the issues.

    Almost forgot, also on the panel was Fiona Hyslop MSP on the Yes side.

    And people wonder why we have so many CYBERNATS?
    or according to a tweet CABERNATS.


    The main reason we or them across the pond wont get involved over Syria has nothing to do with Assad but rather to do with Putin.

    He sent warships into the East Med and the US bottled it in spectacular fashion. Basically the missile cruiser Moskva was enough to send them packing.

    Assad is a disgusting tyrant but sometimes its better the devil you know.


    You are too deep for my knowledge (I bow to you both) – bit like a Martin Rowson cartoon.

  4. Why no Sunny YG tonight?

  5. YouGov/Sun poll: CON 34% LAB 38% LDEM 9% UKIP 13% apparently

  6. That’s confirmed, as it appears to be on PB as well as some other sites.

  7. Presumably after 2015 we’ll see the Lib Dems roll up in not one, but two taxis.

    Not because there aren’t enough seats in one, but more because they won’t be able to stand all being in the same taxi together.

    I’m waiting for the Channel 5 show – ‘When Liberals Attack’.

  8. ALEC

    Cruel – but very funny! :-)

  9. Very good Alec!

  10. Don’t worry – I’ll keep chuntering away to myself.

    Interested in Pension Ministers suggestions that it might be time to do away with annuities. He keeps coming up with interesting thoughts, but isn’t really pushing them through to policy as yet, but he does seem to understand the issues at least.

    Also interested in the select committee ritual roasting of utility execs, this time over power cuts. Unfortunately they seems to focus on the wrong target – why there weren’t sufficient linesmen available when the lines went down – as opposed to the critical question, which is why so many lines went down in the first place.

    Some storm damage is inevitable, but you can prevent a good deal of damage by preventative maintenance. Replacing old lines, upgrading transformers, and critically, cutting back dangerous trees close to lines is all vital stuff for the network, but post privatisation, this is done far less. They wait for the damage to tell them where to upgrade, which is why so many of these situations take so long to fix.

  11. Guymonde

    “Could be worse how about Acton or Harlesden now that is grubby”

    I’ve lived in all 3 but Brentford now so I figure that adds to its grubbiness.

    No, you live in West London. That means that according to YouGov you are officially Posh and Cosmopolitan.

  12. @ Mr. Nameless,

    This story may have more legs than we previously gave it credit for. Fitting, eh Lord Rennard?


    What I don’t understand about L’Affaire Rennard is this. Chris Rennard is meant to know something about PR and campaigning, right? Let’s suppose for a moment he is 100% innocent of all charges and it really is a massive conspiracy to frame him.

    Would any sane person under these circumstances not say to themselves, “Okay, as a veteran of a few dirty tricks campaigns myself, I have to admit it: my political enemies have fitted me up good and proper. The nature of the charges and the thoroughness of my enemies’ preparation (laying the groundwork over a decade ago, coordinating complaints between a group of women who superficially seem to have no connection to each other) are such that it is impossible for me to be cleared of suspicion in the eyes of the majority of the public or our party activists. I have been tried by media and found guilty, however unjust that verdict may be and however much grief and frustration it may cause me.

    “My choices are therefore the following:

    “1) Through legal action or the lobbying of my friends in the Lords, I force the Party to restore the whip without first getting an apology from me, thereby making our leadership look weak and under the thumb of a corrupt elite and making the Lib Dems as a whole appear indifferent to sexual harassment and women’s issues, upsetting many of our activists and alienating the younger generation. Nevertheless, I will be known as Lord Gropey forever, and the issue will not be laid to rest because so many people will still be outraged. Instead it will start a civil war within the party right before a set of elections in which we must defend our last tranche of councillors in mostly Labour-facing seats and we risk losing every single one of our MEPs, including my good friend Chris Davies.

    “2) I fall on my sword and apologise for something I didn’t do, thereby killing this story stone dead. I will still be known as Lord Gropey, but going by the example of convicted criminal Chris Huhne this will not stop me from getting a Guardian column or addressing the Fabian Society, even if young women are unwilling to sit next to me in the future. (But that’s fine, because it’s not like I was planning to put a hand on their knee anyway; I would never do something like that.) And the party I love like my own family will be spared this drawn-out anguish.”

    What would any party loyalist do in this situation? I just can’t understand what’s going through his head. (Although his bizarre statement yesterday does lend credence to the idea that he’s suffering a nervous breakdown.)

  13. @ SYZYGY

    Thank you – except for the last bit, this is what I meant to express (in the foggy manner of Ossian). Your interpretation of the last bit really rounds it up. I won’t plagiarise it because of my honesty, but I wish I had thought of it!

    Thank you again.

  14. I see Labour will be piloting “anti-UKIP” leaflets in the Wythenshawe & Sale East byelection, in order to test whether they should be used in the May locals.

    I would have thought LDs have nothing to lose by going negative in May. Polls suggesting they could lose the bulk of their MEPs, along with another tranche of councillors must have contributed to the recent slump in morale.

    It remains to be seen whether Conservatives persist with some of the imitation-UKIP election literature which has surfaced in recent byelections.

  15. @Spearmint – my thoughts entirely. I’ve no idea as to the merits or otherwise of this case, but I would have thought he could have crafted a form of words to satisfy Lib Dem members without implicating himself.

    If only Lib Dems had found such determined upkeep of principles on tuition fees.

  16. I agree this is a PR disaster for them and he, innocent or not, is not helping.

    It’s like if Tony Blair started running his mouth off about how great an idea Iraq was and then sued the Labour Party when Ed Miliband tried to kick him out.

    …Incidentally, is Tony Blair still a Labour Party member?

  17. I think he’s banking on *3, Spearmint: my enemies fall on their swords, thus killing the story stone dead. He hasn’t got the ‘this all happened forty years ago’ excuse, because it didn’t. He’s just got the ‘prove it’ angle.

    Politics is indeed an unpleasant pond to swim in, where people will try to hard-nose virtually anything out. If political parties want to be free of the risk of this sort of event ever happening, they’ve got to enforce at least three rigid rules. One must be, don’t do it. Two must be, if it’s done to you, report it at once – whoever the perpetrator may be – and we will guarantee your safety. Three – to give some balls to all that – is, ensure the party is balanced, racially and gender-wise, at every level. Too much to hope for?

  18. Thanks Alec, for poll news. So, polldrums as usual and no bounce(s) of any kind. No, I won’t write ……. (trying to move the needle onto a new track but there only seems to be one track).

  19. @ Alec,

    Yeah,and there’s that too, because now we know:

    Things the Lib Dems are prepared to go to the mattresses over:

    – Boundary changes
    – Lib Dem peers who are accused of sexual harassment by “credible complainants” not having to apologise unless the evidence against them meets a criminal standard of proof

    Things the Lib Dems are not prepared to go to the mattresses over:

    – Manifesto pledges they signed big pieces of paper swearing to uphold no matter what
    – NHS privatisation
    – Tenfold increases in foodbank use
    – Carbon targets
    – Legal aid changes for people who aren’t Lib Dem peers
    – Secret courts
    – Wars with Syria
    – etc, etc

    It’s not a good look, although I share Catmanjeff’s view that they’ve already been boiled down to an irreducible core vote.

  20. I can see his point.

    1/ The case isn’t proven

    2/ Expressing regret for unintentional offence is therefore as far as he can sensibly go.

    3/ ALL ladies liken to have their bottoms pinched anyway. Especially if you say “Nice arse luv.” whilst doing the pinching

    Owr Daisie actually bites ladies bottoms [not men’s] and she gets away with it.

  21. On a parallel theme to that of Rennard, I managed to find a link to the QC’s report into the other Lib Dem sexual harassment case i.e. that of Mike Hancock MP. It’s partially redacted, but the thrust of the findings is clear enough on Pages 48-49.

    The final comment is “Note: For the avoidance of doubt, I consent to the full and unabridged publication of the Report.”

    Portsmouth Council today had the opportunity to follow that advice and by publishing a full unabridged version, demonstrate that the Lib Dems, post Rennard, belatedly recognise the importance of transparency on these matters. The Council voted not to do so.

  22. @Mr Nameless

    My son (MA, Sheffield Uni) says that that’s from the flats opposite the Edge. I attended his graduation ceremony last week.

    We’re both of the view that your flatmates and their deceased heroine are/were as mistaken in their impression of Sheffield (at least the western half of it) as they are/were in their political views. A great city.

  23. Spearmint

    What really gets me about Rennard’s reaction is not just all that, but,the fact he could have probably got away with one of those “Sorry if I caused any offence” type apologies. After all none of the women wanted to press charges or cause a fuss at first. They just wanted him to stop or, failing that, the Party to get him to behave.

    Even if he didn’t think to offer it, Clegg should have made him. Instead the Party leader seems to have considered himself too lofty to intervene; then said he couldn’t do anything; then did what he said he couldn’t; and in the process he managed to alienate absolutely everyone.

    A few days back I wondered if this would be a crunch issue that finally got people moving against Clegg’s leadership. What I hadn’t realised is that it would lead to him being attacked from all sides. I suspect the Lords are weary and angry at having to support the long list of unnecessary concessions to Tory whims that Clegg has gone along with. I also wonder if Clegg, like Cameron, is an ineffective social schmoozer and tends to demand loyalty rather than earn it. So in the end it has all boiled up over a completely irrelevant and damaging situation, but one where personal loyalties and long track records of service are important.

  24. @Phil

    As a Shef Uni student uni myself (no relation to mrnameless…I don’t think!) I’m very happy with Sheffield as a city to study, and enjoy.

    Congratulations to your son.

    As an aside, Sheffield is meant to be the city with the highest ‘retention rate’ of students, in terms of staying and working in the city post-uni. That’s possibly wrong (surely London…!), however shows how enjoyable it must be for us bunch of scroungers!

  25. Little brag also while I’m here…. if any of you read the BBC article about university degree grades inflating, the comment by ‘Jack, Sheffield’ was me.

    No, you didn’t read it, or care? Never mind. Been dying to tell someone that I got on the Beeb website, but don’t want to tell my folks else I’ll get a rollicking for wasting my time and not revising!!

  26. @Mr Nameless

    “My son (MA, Sheffield Uni) says that that’s from the flats opposite the Edge. I attended his graduation ceremony last week.”

    He’s very close as to where my flat is! I suppose I don’t want to be more specific for security reasons, but then anyone looking to rob/kill me only has to look for the flat with Thatcher in the window.

    I love what I’ve seen of Sheffield so far – aside from the amount of walking, and even that’s getting me in shape.

    Congratulations to your son on graduating!

  27. I’m not sure why people think a Rennard apology would kill the story “stone dead”. Pervy Peer Admits He Is A Perv is probably not the kind of headline either he or the LDs would really like to see.

    Ultimately, it is unreasonable to demand an apology from someone who denies the offence they are accused of. You either prosecute them, sue them or shut up, so far as I am concerned.

    Now perhaps he is guilty, and was wrong to deny it. But he has denied it. What else, frankly, is there to say?

    Besides, where were you lot when Clinton was leching all over his junior female staff? Sauce for the goose?

  28. NEIL A

    “Sauce for the goose”

    That does invite an “ooh, er, missus” response, in that particular context.

  29. neil a

    “Ultimately, it is unreasonable to demand an apology from someone who denies the offence they are accused of. You either prosecute them, sue them or shut up, so far as I am concerned.

    Now perhaps he is guilty, and was wrong to deny it. But he has denied it. What else, frankly, is there to say?”

    Pretty much in line with two thirds of what I wrote earlier.

    I am just surprised he didn’t issue a statement of regret/no intention to offend etc and assume they would leave it at that – which if they had any sense they would have done.

  30. Oldnat… shame on you…

    Rosieanddaisie…. yup I was pretty much posting in agreement with you. Although I don’t think the “Apology For Doing Nothing Wrong” approach would really have worked either.

    These things are a bit of a game of chicken. Do you gamble that an admission and apology will lead to forgiveness and an end of the matter? Or will it simply provide your accusers with the ammunition to sue you?

  31. NEIL A

    I have no shame ….

    And compounding your salacious comments with “I was pretty much posting in agreement with you” doesn’t help matters! :-)

  32. rosieanddaisie

    I am just surprised he didn’t issue a statement of regret/no intention to offend etc and assume they would leave it at that – which if they had any sense they would have done.

    That’s the great mystery. If he had done that a year ago, or maybe even a week ago, none of this would have been more that a bit of gossip among devotees of politics and the whole thing would have been forgotten.

    Ashdown and Steel were said above to be on different sides of the argument here, but if you look at the Guardian’s latest story they’re not really saying different things:

    […]one of Clegg’s predecessors, Lord Steel, called for Rennard’s suspension to be lifted.

    “Collectively, the party leadership should get a grip on this and say it’s got to be reversed,” he told ITV News. “There should not be a threat of expulsion. Chris Rennard should withdraw his threat of legal action and we should get this sorted out once and for all.

    “There’s no doubt that some offence was caused to women. That’s not in doubt. The question is, can we now get an agreement to regret what happened in the past and make sure it doesn’t happen again and get back to normal politics?”

    Despite Clegg’s insistence that the disciplinary process must be allowed to run its course, senior party figures pleaded with the peer to find some middle ground.

    Lord Ashdown, a former party leader, said Rennard could simply protest his innocence and express general regret by way of an apology. “It goes like this: ‘I assert my innocence. I do not believe I did this. But if inadvertently I created hurt for others, then I regret that,'”

    The unspoken message from both of them is “In my day this would have all been sorted out months ago with quiet words behind the scenes and mutually-agreed statements”. The truth is that Clegg is just no good at this sort of Party management and, worse, doesn’t even see that it needs to be done. But it does (even if you are PM) and especially if the Press will eagerly publicise every failing.

  33. Not a statistician, so I wouldn’t dream to know true definitions of Margin of Error or confidence levels.


  34. Found this link – seems to sum up the situation quite nicely

    i.e. the internal processes of the party were not able to get the result that was wanted by the leadership (at which point they wanted this I am not sure – I have a feeling they were shocked by the negative reaction to the findings and also the fact that Rennard stuck his heels in) and that the rules were bent a bit to get this second inquiry

    I am wight he other views that VI may not shift much as the core has been reached but it will reduce further any chances of a return by those who have defected.

    It would also be interesting to see what happens if the party is found to have bent its own rules – I guess Farron would be the man in the firing line here as party president – would make the post-2015 leadership election interesting!!!

    In any case I think Farron is coming out of this even worse than Clegg – his ‘mateyness’ way of communicating lacks gravitas and I do not think he has done himself any favours

    I have always been skeptical about ‘gravitas’ being that important but he really does seem weak in these situations in a way none of the party leaders do – I think Farage suffers from the same problem.

  35. ‘wight he’ translates to ‘with the’

    I think my keyboard detects I am from the West Midlands and tries to add a bit of accent to my comments

    By the way I am a Yam Yam not a Brummie if anyone dares make that mistake

  36. PHIL
    Congratulations on your son’s graduation.

  37. BC

    I like the idea of an advanced keyboard that converts to scouse, zumerset etc.

    It could also add suitable colloquialisms at random – nah worrah mean layke bonny lad?

  38. An average lead of 6% is arguably +/- MOE is arguably safe territory.

    Labour doesn’t actually need an opinion poll lead to win the General Election. Differential turnout and distribution of votes round the country means that a dead heat on 35% each, the worst poll finding in the whole of 2013, would leave Labour just 3 seats short of a majority and 38 seats ahead of the Tories. This is because the Tories pile up majorities in high-turnout, safe rural seats, which is of no help in a First-Past-the-Post voting system. This may be unfair, but it’s the system the Tories campaigned to keep in the 2011 referendum.

  39. @Jack R

    Great comment.

    In a way it’s a shame you weren’t just walking down the street (to the library) when a TV crew asked you for your views. Your family would have been tickled pink.

  40. Latest news from Tendring…UKIP have now put out their leaflet, which says, “Locally, I have become convinced that Tendring Council is dominated by national politics…”

    He may or may not be right of course. But the news from the doorsteps is that the people who intend to vote UKIP are going to do so because they want the UK to get out of Europe or they are opposed to mass immigration…..

    A bit of a disjoint between his leaflet and the people who will actually vote for him I feel.

  41. Morning Everyone,

    Question: Why is no one talking about the latest YouGov Poll this morning?
    I find it quite amusing when the Polls tighten some people go quiet – odd!

  42. Sine Nomine

    Have you heard of margin of error?

    It is statistically exactly the same as every other poll in the last few weeks

    What it does continue to show though is a Labour lead and no indications that it is changing

    Come back in a week or two and if we have a raft of polls of 3-4% then we can discuss

    Polldrums continue and it is much more fun to laugh at the LD anyway (naughty step approaches methinks)

  43. Sine Nomine:

    Couldn’t be that nobody posted it here, could it? Anyway, it’s not far off normal. Con score one higher than usual, Lab one lower. Nothing for anyone to get worked up about in any case.

    Con 34
    Lab 38
    LD 9
    UKIP 13

  44. Very baffled as to why Chris Huhne, an experienced and distinguished former journalist, should not be allowed to be a journalist any more or be allowed to return to a previous employer in a far more junior post than the one he used to occupy, because he spent two months in prison.

    I don’t like the man, but he was a good journalist, and his experiences in business and in Parliament may well make him a better one. It’s not like we’re so overburdened with good journalists in this country that we should prevent people from being journalists because of tribal dislikes.

  45. MrNameless

    Agreed, the last two days YouGovs look like the two ends of the spectrum. Labour lead still around 5-6% so polldrums.

    The improving economy not having much effect but I would not expect it to yet.

    Sine Nomine

    Because most who post on here are of a left leaning persuasion as I’m sure you know. Personnally I’m very cheerful about the way things are going.

  46. Six seconds Norbold, that’s all you have to make a point between letterbox and recycling bin, so l spect your UKIP opponent wants to mirror his position as anti-establishment underdog with the national position of his party, as he sees it. I always found that the Tories and their fellow travellers were keen to associate themselves with the ‘keep party politics out of local govt ‘ line.
    Good luck.

  47. @Sine N


    5 day average.
    Lab 39.0%, Con 32.8%, LD 9.6%, UKIP 12.4%. Lead 6.2%

    Previous 5 day average.
    Lab 38.2%, Con 32.4%, LD 9.4%, UKIP 13.0%. Lead 5.8%

    If you insist on a comment, the best that I can offer is that there’s been a slight firming up of Lab VI after a weaker start to the year.


    Is it just me, or does anyone else think Lord Rennard looks eerily similar to Karl Otto Alberty – former boxer and directors first choice for nasty nazi roles in 1960’s WW2 movies?

  49. @Mr Nameless, @John Pilgrim


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